The engines with their after-treatment technology have been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 15 ppm ultra low sulfur diesel fuel now being used across the country. The engines will be installed in vehicles being produced at Freightliner plants in Cleveland, NC, Portland, Ore. And St. Thomas, Ont. Initial deliveries of these trucks will be by the end of this month.
The company’s director of sales, Tim Tindall, claims, “These engines pass the ‘white handkerchief test,’ where a white hanky placed over the exhaust pipes of the running truck shows there is no soot or odor emitted.”
Last month Freightliner reduced its workforce at the St. Thomas plant by 800 employees in reaction to hesitation by buyers to purchase trucks that incorporate the new engine technology that meets the January 1, 2007 EPA diesel emissions standards. “We anticipate further reductions of up to 3,200 workers in the first few months of 2007,” says Chris Patterson, Freightliner president and CEO. “We are anticipating that demand will begin to recover in the second half of the year, as our customers gain confidence in the new technology and their existing vehicles suffer the effects of aging. We expect to be able to make some positive workforce adjustments at that time.”